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Cardiac Rattlers Score Four in Ninth to Beat Quad Cities

Wisconsin lowers magic number to six with miracle comeback
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers mob Tayden Hall after his walkoff sacrifice fly gave them a 6-5 win over the Quad Cities River Bandits on June 9, 2024. (Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Video Production)
June 9, 2024

GRAND CHUTE, WI – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers went into the top of the ninth protecting a 2-1 lead. The Quad Cities River Bandits went into the bottom of the ninth protecting a 5-2 lead. In a crazy, back-and-forth ninth inning on Sunday afternoon at Neuroscience Group Field, it was

GRAND CHUTE, WI – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers went into the top of the ninth protecting a 2-1 lead. The Quad Cities River Bandits went into the bottom of the ninth protecting a 5-2 lead. In a crazy, back-and-forth ninth inning on Sunday afternoon at Neuroscience Group Field, it was the Rattlers who came out with a 6-5 victory as a four-run bottom of the ninth gave them the victory and lowered their magic number to clinch the division to six.

Click here for the Postgame Podcast with
comments from Hall, Fitzpatrick, Estevez, and Adams

Click here for the boxscore

Click here for the scoring plays

Wisconsin (36-21) took the lead with a two-out rally in the bottom of the third. Quad Cities starting pitcher Ryan Ramsey retired the first two batters before walking Jadher Areinamo and Luke Adams. Dylan O’Rae followed with a single to right. Areinamo scored with a head-first dive to the plate that got him under the tag after a strong throw from Jean Ramirez for the 1-0 lead.

Quad Cities (25-32) threatened in the top of the fourth inning against Wisconsin starter Brian Fitzpatrick. A hit batsman, a walk, and a single loaded the bases. Jean Ramirez tried to bunt home the tying run. Catcher Matt Wood pounce on the ball on the grass in front of the plate and leapt back to tag out the runner heading for home for the second out. Then, Tayden Hall made a leaping grab at first on a line drive off the bat of Deivis Nadal for the final out. Ramirez, Wood, and Hall would all play crucial roles later in the drama.

Fitzpatrick pitched a professional high six innings, allowed three hits, and struck out five. He turned that 1-0 lead over to the bullpen.

Yerlin Rodriguez was up first. He retired the side in order in the seventh. However, he would not be as fortunate in the eighth. Rodriguez walked a batter with one out. Brett Squires doubled to put runners at second and third. The next hitter sent a grounder to Luke Adams at third base and the Timber Rattlers got an out at the plate. Squires took third on the play and scored when Rodriguez uncorked a wild pitch to let in the tying run.

Wood doubled with one out in the bottom of the eighth. Hall singled to center to drive in Wood to put Wisconsin back in the lead.

Bayden Root entered to close the game in the top of the ninth. He allowed a walk, a stolen base, and an infield single to put runners at the corners for Ramirez.

Ramirez squared to bunt on the first two pitches but took them for balls. He squared again on Root’s third pitch before pulling back and punching a double just inside the bag at third to score the tying run.

A grounder to second held the runners as the Rattlers got the first out. A decision was made to walk Carter Jensen to load the bases. Dustin Dickerson spoiled that strategy with a single to center to score two runs and the Bandits had a 4-2 lead.

Trevor Werner made it 5-2 with a two-out, RBI single and the River Bandits were three outs from a split in the series.

The Timber Rattlers didn’t quit. Wisconsin was 8-4 in their last twelve games before Sunday with a pair of walkoff wins and five total last at bat victories. Even facing Ben Sears, who had only allowed two hits in 4-1/3 innings over four appearances against the Rattlers this season, didn’t faze them.

Luis Lara got the rally started when he was hit by a pitch. Jadher Areinamo blooped in a single to center on an 0-2 pitch. Adams drew a four-pitch walk, his fourth walk of the game, to load the bases with no outs.

O’Rae, who had already extended his on-base streak to 21 games with his two singles earlier in the game, lined a single to center to score the first run.

Jesús Chirinos was next for Wisconsin. Chirinos had a game-winning, three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Beloit Sky Carp back on May 18. He was ready for the big moment again on Sunday. Sears got ahead of Chirinos 0-2 before the right-hander fouled off a couple of tough pitches and had some good takes to run the count to 3-2. Chirinos smacked the eighth pitch of the at bat back through the middle to drive in Areinamo and Adams with the tying runs. O’Rae had stopped at second, but a bobble allowed him to race for third base with the winning run.

The River Bandits chose to bring lefty AJ Block into the game to replace Sears and to walk Wood to load the bases for Hall.

Hall responded with a fly ball to left that was deep enough to easily score O’Rae from third to give the Rattlers a thrilling 6-5 victory.

Wisconsin’s magic number moved to six as their lead remained at 3-1/2 games over the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the first-half West Division race. The Kernels staged their own late comeback at Great Lakes to earn a 9-6 victory in their series finale at Dow Diamond. There are nine games remaining in the first half as the Rattlers are trying to make the Midwest League playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Wisconsin is off on Monday. They begin a twelve-game road trip on Tuesday with game one of a series against the West Michigan Whitecaps at LMCU Ballpark. Mark Manfredi (2-1, 3.93) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Dylan Smith (0-3, 3.38) has been announced as the starting pitcher for the Whitecaps. Game time is 5:35pm CDT. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Community Blood Center Pregame Show at 5:15pm. The game is also available on the internet and the Bally Live App.